Four years ago, as the credits for Iron Man finished rolling, the audience was treated to an extra scene featuring Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury asking Tony Stark about the Avengers initiative. At the time, I remember thinking that they could not pull off an Avengers movie. I mean how many years was there talk of a Justice
League movie that never materialized? Yet as time progressed and more Marvel movies came out the movie was becoming more and more of a reality. Fast forward to last night, when after years of anticipation, I finally got to see the superhero ensemble movie, The Avengers.
It was almost impossible not to have incredibly high expectations because all of the hype surrounding the film. So as the lights dimmed, the only thing that I hoped for was that the movie would at least be fun. The Avengers did not disappoint, it was an incredibly exciting ride for the duration of the film. Joss Whedon did a fantastic job of giving each character their due screentime (outside of Hawkeye maybe). And what truly amazes me is how he catches the Avengers symbolism of the American experience: Captain America representing our patriotism, Tony Stark, our greed and love of capitalism, Black Widow representing immigration and the realizing of the American dream, Thor, our love of Mythology, and Hulk, representing our destructive power. Of course, the Hulk steals pretty much every scene that he is in, yet what was pleasantly surprising was Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal of Bruce Banner’s quirky, tortured, and ultimately socially awkward character. It was the best representation of the Hulk that the we have seen on the screen.
As wonderful as all of the characterization and the action sequences are (and believe me they are wonderful), the movie is surprisingly funny. And not just chuckle funny, there are points in the movie that where I laughed harder than I have in a while (for those of you who have seen it, think Loki’s “speech” to the Hulk). Whedon also works in at least three references to The Lord of the Rings, which was a welcome addition to all of the fanboys in the audience. I think that Joss Wheedon deserves kudos, for both his scriptwriting which contained such snappy dialogue, and for his direction which kept the film moving at a very even pace. The Avengers is arguably the most faithful and fun comic book adaptation ever, can’t wait for the next one.